Romney and Obama: students weigh in

Diego Saldaña-Rojas/ Contributing Writer

The convention watch party was hosted by the FIU College Democrats on the first floor of the Green Library on Sept. 6, where students watched speakers on and off the screen.

Joe Garcia, who is currently running for a seat in congress, briefly addressed the gathering. Garcia also took the opportunity to ask for support in his campaign. The University is part of the district Garcia would be representing if elected.

Before Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can go head-to-head in the presidential elections they must first be formally nominated by their respective political parties. The nominations for president are formally announced at each party’s convention.

Senator Marco Rubio, a local politician, was one of the speakers present at the Republican National Convention. Rubio, a Cuban-American native to South Florida, opened up his speech by asking those who were present to keep Cuba in their prayers so that it may one day be free.

Later on in his speech, the Senator appealed to Cuban and Hispanic sentiment by quoting his father in Spanish. “My Dad used to tell us: ‘En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos.’” He followed by translating what he said in Spanish to English.  “In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could.”

Nicholas Recuset, a sophomore political science and international relations major and supporter of the Republican party, believes the RNC received good media coverage. He enjoyed listening to Rubio and actor Clint Eastwood at the convention.

“They did a good job in choosing Senator Marco Rubio, he was one of my favorite speakers,” Recuset said.

A couple minutes into his speech, Governor Romney also briefly mentioned Cuba.

“We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future when every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the statue of liberty or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just 90 miles from Castro’s tyranny.”

A theme present at the RNC was the attempt to make Mitt Romney more likable, a view that is supported by junior finance and accounting major Norberto Esquivel, a supporter of the Republican party.

Esquivel stated, “That’s what the convention was trying to do, make him seem like a good person, not that boss you don’t want to work for.”

Recuset also holds the view that the Republican convention attempted to humanize Romney. He stated, “A lot of people view him as very out of touch because he is a business man.”

Both of the presidential candidates’ wives also spoke at the convention and both used emotional stories to humanize and rally support for their respective husbands. They mentioned their experiences in college with their husbands and how they were trying times for both. Michelle Obama directly mentioned how she and her brother were the recipients of financial aid. She also mentioned that her husband is in favor of increasing student aid and lowering interest rates on loans.

Recuset said that this year’s conventions served as more of a rally to get party members excited about voting and the prospect of winning.

Junior English major Kieron Williams, who supports Obama but is an Independent, shared a similar view in saying that he relates both conventions to “pep rallies.”

Where Williams and Recuset differ is in the view of the individual conventions themselves.

“I feel like the Republicans are sort of based on blind anger…it’s like Republicans are throwing a tantrum during the convention,” Williams said.

Democratic supporter Ivan Aguilar, senior sociology major, thinks that the Republican convention’s agenda is more about making sure President Obama is not re-elected rather than supporting Governor Romney.

Esquivel agrees with Aguilar’s statement, but believes it is merely a matter of ideology.

“The Republicans have always wanted to have Obama out. It’s right versus left-wing at all times.”

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